Family of Hartlepool man Lee Cooper 'very pleased' as two men convicted of his murder
The family of a ‘much loved son, brother and uncle’ from Hartlepool have praised police after two men have been convicted of his murder.
Lee Cooper suffered more than 100 injuries including having a TV stand smashed on his head in the fatal attack on December 23 last year.
Two men – Neil Maxwell and Luke Pearson – will now be sentenced for murder following a two week trial at Teesside Crown Court.
Mr Cooper’s family said the pair tried to ‘hide behind legislation’ to escape justice.
Maxwell, 40, of Lytton Court, North Ormesby, pleaded guilty to murder part-way through the trial after his defence of loss of control was rejected.
Pearson, 19, of Westbourne Street in Stockton, was today found guilty of murder after his defence of diminished responsibility was not accepted by the jury.
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He had sought to rely on his history of hallucinations and hearing voices as a defence to murder.
‘They both tried to hide’
Following today's verdict, the family said in a statement: “We are very pleased that Neil Maxwell and Luke Pearson have been proven guilty of murdering our much loved son, brother and uncle.
“They both tried to hide behind legislation to prevent them from being found guilty of murder but the judge and jury saw through this and rightly convicted them of a brutal and sadistic murder. “We would like to thank the police, prosecution and jury for their dedication during a difficult investigation and trial and we are thankful to them for bringing these monsters to justice.
“We hope that the verdict today will bring some closure to our lives and even though nothing will bring back Lee, we hope that on the day of sentence both Maxwell and Pearson are sentenced to a long time in custody.”